“Movies entertain us, and often they are nothing more than grab bags of gimmicks, gags, and gab. But those that continue to appeal to audiences over time and to lodge in our individual and collective memories do so because they reveal patterns of how we live our lives. Our hopes and fears, our aspirations and our failures, our longings and our frustrations, our loves and our hates are all embodied in the memorable popular films.”
I’m a big quote guy. And so as I sit here in my CTU Bauer shirt, pondering how to kick off “The Imaginarium” portion of this blog, I found this quote ever so relevant. I am admittedly one of those occasionally obnoxious people who views films as more than just a fun entertainment medium. Like Joseph said in his profile, “I’m not one of those guys that gets all jacked up to see Transformers 3 at midnight.”
I think of my boy Jack Bauer and his dedication to preserving all that is good. I like to think that I am dedicated to the same, just in a far less badass way. For me, a well-made film is a very powerful thing. Well-made films embody something in each of us that either forces us to confront something or stirs up an emotional inner response. I’m not implying that every movie made has to be some deep, cerebral melodrama. One of my all-time favorite movies is Sullivan’s Travels, which argues that there is the most power in comedies. (And yes the entire movie is on YouTube). I just think too many people tend to see movies that were made for a very specific purpose and they view them with a different agenda and are disappointed. A lot of the movies on my list have to be viewed with an open mind and with the understanding that they weren’t necessarily made for your enjoyment. But alas I will step down from my soapbox and save that post for another day.
So before we get too far into things here on The Imaginarium, I thought we should first recap what I considered to be my top movies of 2011. There is no specific set of criteria for ranking these. It’s basically just a combination of equal parts what I consider quality, combined with how much I enjoyed it. Also I have to admit I’ve only seen one movie nominated for Best Foreign Film and none of the Best Documentary nominees. Those are usually viewed the week leading up to the Oscars. I would love your feedback and we’ll go through 1-10 next week leading up to my Oscar picks.
So without further adieu, let’s do this thing! Read more